Top Five Ice Fishing Lures For Walleye on Lake Winnebago
Set Yourself Up For Lake Winnebago Walleye Success!
Icing a nice walleye can be hands down one of the most rewarding accomplishments for any angler who ventures out onto the frozen Lake Winnebago waters. Sure a pail full of white bass, crappie and perch is nothing to sneeze at, but something about watching those giant white glowing eyes ascend through your hole is an unexplainable feeling.
So how do you do it? Truthfully, even the best anglers can struggle to find active feeding walleyes in the winter months, and when they do getting them to bite becomes another challenge all of its own. Like we all know when it comes to ice fishing, nothing is guarantied, but if you want to tip the scales in your favor we have compiled a list of must-have walleye lures for the Lake Winnebago system you need to have in your box at all times. After extensive product testing from the team here at TRS, we have put together our favorite top five ice fishing lures for walleye on Lake Winnebago.
#5 – Swedish Pimple
The Swedish Pimple has been a time-tested multi-species fish catching machine for years. Size 3-4 is a favorite for Lake Winnebago ice fishing and will entice a large variety of freshwater fish species. The Swedish Pimple closely mimics a wounded minnow that drives aggressive walleyes mad.
Presentation: Vertical jigging with sporadic twitching at the top of the jig lift and a slow fall. Tip hook with minnow head or spikes.
Colors: The hammered patterns have been hot over the last few winters, particularly purple front color shades with copper and gold-colored backs.
#4 – Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap
The Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap is a new variation of a popular lipless bait that has earned its meal ticket by slaying bass in the summertime. However, the flashy color patterns, slim profiles and loud rattle sounds these little baits produce are ideal for ice fishing in the cloudy waters that the Lake Winnebago system produces. The profile of the Rapala Ripping Rap measures a very ice-fishing manageable 1.5" and represents a popular meal for walleye, the freshwater shad.
Presentation: Sharp ripping jigs cause the Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap to produce violent vibration and loud rattling sounds. This unique presentation can attract Lake Winnebago walleye from as far as 20-30 yards away to come and investigate.
Colors: New UV tiger patterns really make the Rippin’ Rap pop in the murky depths of Lake Winnebago. The combination of a flashy color combination and aggressive water vibration and rattling sounds create a beacon that is nothing short of a dinner bell for walleyes and even a jumbo perch or two!
#3 – Northland Buckshot Spoon
Hold on tight anytime you tie on a Northland Buckshot Spoon, as this bait is a favorite meal for just about anything with gills that calls Lake Winnebago home. Similar in design to the Swedish Pimple, the Northland Buckshot Spoon again presents a wounded minnow appearance, but is coupled with another unique feature, a small rattle that “clank - clanks” as the bait is being jigged. Sizes of 1/16 and 1/8 oz. are ideal most days.
Presentation: Vertical jig with pauses at the top. Short and fast rod tip twitching produces a “clank-clank” sounds to let hungry walleyes know an easy meal is around. Touch the bait to near bottom, twitch as you raise to tease while bringing the lure up, walleyes love to strike as the bait is rising.
Colors: The Northland Buckshot Spoons feature a holographic design. Super-Glo Purple Herring and Super-Glo Perch are go-to colors in any water conditions. Glowing back paint, clanking sounds and the wounded baitfish minnow presentation makes the Northland Buckshot spoon a triple-threat!
#2 – Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoon / VMC Tingler Spoon
When it comes to ice fishing, the time honored question arises, “what came first the jigging spoon or ice-fishing line?” Okay we are kidding, but spoons have been a standby in ice fishing for a very long time, especially when ice fishing for walleyes. The Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoon and VMC Tingler Spoons, however, are not your normal jigging spoons. These thin profile walleye hunters have a unique quality in that they flutter with a vertical fall. This unique action screams easy meal for walleyes through the ice as the bait acts like a struggling minnow in search of a safe haven. Sizes 1/8-5/16 oz.
Presentation: Work either a Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoon or VMC Tingler Spoon close to bottom (6-10 inches) with long, slow vertical jigs. As the bait falls it flutters almost horizontally downward in a very enticing fashion. This is when ice-fishing line in a tinted color becomes important because most strikes happen on the fall. If you notice slack line on the fall, get ready to set the hook.
Colors: Silver and Gold backed colors are great walleye producers. New UV striped patterns on the front help add a little bit of visibility to these fluttering spoons. Tip with minnow head or spike for extra flavor!
#1 – Rapala Jigging Rap
The list of Top Five Ice Fishing Lures For Walleye on Lake Winnebago wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the Rapala Jigging Rap and this bait hits our number one spot. The Rapala Jigging Rap is nothing new to ice fishing anglers and has been around for about 30 years! This baits long and impressive run still manages to trick walleyes into mistaking a mouth full of sharp treble-hooks as an easy meal.
The Rapala Jigging Rap’s secret sauce? It features two unique back fins that causes the bait to dart around sporadically in a circular motion and is something we like to call a ”searching bait”. It also features a slim, minnow-like profile that very much resembles a real live shiner. Popular sizes of Rapala Jigging Raps to hone in on hungry Lake Winnebago walleyes are anywhere from size 2-4. Don’t be afraid to try smaller sizes first and move to larger, as the number two are mighty little baits that punch well above their weight class in terms of the size of fish that will pursue them.
Presentation: One of the added bonuses of fishing a Rapala Jigging Rap is that its presentation is nearly impossible to screw up. Standard vertical jigs, starting at about 8” off bottom and lifting from anywhere to a foot to two feet will send the rap darting on a mission to attract fish, the lure truly does all the work. Pausing the bait at multiple depths and adding a twitch here and there along your jig movement is also a very effective technique. Often times the bait alone will catch fish, but tipping bottom hooks with a minnow head or the front of the bait with spikes can make for a killer combination.
Colors: The clown pattern has been by far the most popular used on the Lake Winnebago system over the past several ice-fishing seasons, but variation with custom color patterns is often just the little bit of extra change up needed to turn the more mature walleyes from tire kickers into buyers. “Cough, cough…. Bozo’s Revenge…”
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